BTU – Arboretum Partnership

  The goal of this partnership is to enhance life-science education in the lower grades through an active collaboration between Arboretum educators and BTU teachers.

The K1 and K2 students have been introduced to what the Arboretum is – “a museum of living trees” – and have had the opportunity to practice observing leaves, seed pods, bark, and branches cut from several specimen trees.  They are learning how to use hand lenses for close observation, and engaging the senses of touch, sight, smell and sound to notice detail.  Finally, K1 and K2 students have made wonderful observational drawings of chosen plant material.

The  PTC and 1st grade students are immersed in the unit “Air and Weather.”  At this time students are exploring air and its properties, noticing how air behaves in water, when compressed, and how air pressure and air resistance are useful in everyday experiences.  They can relate their learning to common objects like a moon bounce, a whistle, a hang glider, and car air bags.  Students applied their understanding of air to invent a toy or machine that uses air.

The 2nd grade is studying “Insects”!  At this time students have been introduced to mealworms, waxworms, and a mystery insect.  Through regular observations they are beginning to note and understand the life cycle of insects, how to indentify and differentiate insects from other many legged creatures, and develop respect for all living things.  Students share their observations with each other and are becoming very adept at noticing tiny details.  Plus, they are developing an amazing vocabulary!

All students are keeping science journals.  They are learning how to draw from careful observation and write about what has been learned, incorporating new science vocabulary and developing literacy skills.

The Arboretum has also provided funding to transport all students in K1 through 3rd grade on several fieldtrips to the Arnold Arboretum during the months of October and November.   Field trips took place on the dates below:

Mon, Oct 24 – PTC

Tues, Oct 25 – K1 and K2

Wed, Oct 26 – 1st and 2nd grades

Fri, Nov 18 – 3rd grade

Next time you are in the building, please stop by the bulletin board in the hallway outside the Primary Learning Center to view photos and sample of children’s work.

Thank you for your at home support of our science efforts at the BTU!

Ana Maria Caballero

Arboretum Science Educator

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